2017 Belgium Open Swimming Championships
2016 Olympic silver medalist Pieter Timmers raced his way to a 2nd gold at his nation’s open swimming championships in Antwerp tonight, collecting another Budapest-qualifying mark in the process. Yesterday we saw the 29-year-old clock a speedy 1:47.10 to win the men’s 200m freestyle and qualify for the World Championships in the event, while today he took on the more unpredictable splash n’ dash.
Racing his way to the top of the podium in the 50m free tonight, Timmers notched a new personal best time of 22.22. That shaves .06 off of his previous career-fastest nabbed at this same meet back in 2015. Additionally, his performance clears the 22.47 FINA A cut to add the 50m to Timmers’ list of events for Budapest. Tomorrow he’ll try the 100m freestyle on for size, the event in which he earned silver behind Aussie star Kyle Chalmers in Rio.
Breaststroker Basten Caerts added another medal to his 50m breaststroke gold from yesterday by taking the 100m distance today. Caerts has been as fast as 1:01.19 in February of this year, but the 20-year-old produced just a 1:01.52 tonight. That falls shy of the 1:00.35 needed to clock a FINA A cut for Budapest. Of note, no Belgian has ever dipped beneath the minute mark in the men’s 100m breaststroke event.
Valentine Dumont highlighted the women’s side of tonight’s competition, notching 2 wins in the session. She first took the 200m butterfly in a time of 2:14.33, beating the competition by nearly 6 seconds. Towards the end of the session, Dumont also scored the 400m freestyle victory with her outing of 4:15.31, the 2nd fastest performance of her career.
In the women’s 100m breaststroke, national record holder Fanny Lecluyse wasn’t able to stop visiting Dutch swimmer Tes Schouten. Schouten led wire-to-wire, stopping the clock at 1:08.54 to produce the 2nd-fastest performance of her young career. Schouten is just 16 years of age, therefore, her time tonight qualifies her both for the European Junior Championships, as well as the World junior Championships.